Recruitment as a service is so competitive that every single facet of business has been covered so, how do we manage to push our brand in front of both applicants and clients alike when there are so many organisations already fighting for that visibility. Of course, online has for many years delivered traffic that enables any recruitment-based business to fly but within this crowded arena then how do we stand out and gain that traffic that really will ensure your company succeeds?
Recruiters can no longer ignore the power of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to drive their online visibility however, this service must be delivered correctly and to a strict strategy that ultimately delivers a joined-up message to both search engines and visitors alike. SEO will bring many benefits to any recruitment business and ultimately will enable them to stand out in a crowded market. The goal is that recruitment brands must do everything in their power to stay one step ahead of the rest.
The question must therefore be asked ‘what can SEO do for your recruitment business?’
In order to stay ahead of your online competition then first a detailed strategy must be in place. By understanding exactly what your message is as a business you can then target your website correctly thus deliver a fully joined up message across your whole business. There are a few ways to drive traffic to your website: Search Engine Optimisation is the process of gaining organic or free traffic to your site, Pay-per-Click (PPC) which is placing adverts on search engines like Google and paying for the subsequent clicks, Social optimisation use the online networks to deliver traffic – this will not increase your search profile but can deliver targeted traffic. There are so many other areas that can be utilised from programmatic through retargeting but let’s start with the two major opportunities.
Both SEO and PPC can be controlled within your detailed strategy and are extremely effective in delivering online visibility for recruitment brands therefore, in order to maximise your online exposure then both should be implemented. That said we must not forget the device people utilise to search with. As has been widely reported, Google has now switched their databases to being mobile first. Of course, this does not mean we can forget about desktop access, but it does mean we must highlight the mobile effectiveness of our web portfolio.
Although within this article we will discuss the effectiveness of SEO it is the businesses online strategy that really will deliver results. We must be sure that every facet of our business is targeted towards keywords, this means you can deliver true value to your expected traffic by answering specific needs to help clients gain their vacancy and importantly attract unique candidates.
Specifically target your niche
Brand visibility is massively important to both you as a business and to the major search engines but, this ultimate visibility should be recognised as your ‘bread and butter’ traffic. Of course, you should be visible for your brand name, but these are not the terms that are going to deliver the uplift in traffic that we are all looking for. How many searchers are looking for your exact name as apposed to those that are looking for a specific area of business. You must be found for niche terms based on the service you deliver, not simply your name.
One common mistake is that many recruitment agencies try to rank for their niche followed by the term ‘recruitment agency’, the issue is that few people search for ‘recruitment agencies’ as a term. Most search for jobs, so it is important to rank for your niche and the term ‘jobs’ for example ‘sales and marketing jobs’.
Do not forget that Search engines are also trying to deliver a geographic answer to your search query. They know where you are based on your IP so they will try and deliver results based around that area. If you therefore include a geographic term within your keyword, then this makes it easier for the search engine to list your site within that niche. Let’s say your service delivery is Essex based then the term you target may be ‘sales and marketing jobs essex’.
Attracting the right candidate at the right time
The current economic climate has resulted in many jobs flooding the market and therefore the fight for quality candidates is higher now than it has ever been. Of course, if you tie this to the ever-changing criteria of search engines then this area of attack has been increasingly difficult. Making sure that your website shows in searches for highly relevant search terms puts you one step ahead of your competitors.
We are all becoming increasingly switched on when it comes to searching for jobs. A recent study found that 88% of candidates begin their job search on Google and via a mobile device, they will then visit numerous websites and job boards which appear on the first page of Google for their chosen job search.
The answer is therefore to attract these switched on candidates before they enter the job boards that are obviously full of adverts from your many competitors in the vain hope that they eventually choose your advert.
Find the right clients
Its vital to impress your clients and prove your value to their business. By showing that you have a distinct advantage with your search visibility then this of course maximises the reason for them to list their jobs with your agency rather than that of your competition. If you can find the quality candidates and deliver the ideal talent that they need then you are without doubt ahead of the game.
Don’t forget the fundamentals
Although we have highlighted that strategy is a key part to this jigsaw, we must never forget the traditional areas of search that will ensure the search engines see your website correctly. In fact, this is the area most fall down on. Areas like code delivery – make sure its targeted towards your strategy and written well. Speed of delivery – don’t ever forget that speed is part of the search engines ranking criteria and is therefore extremely important for both desktop and mobile. Content – both on and off page and must support your strategy. Inbound links – quality is the word here, but they are still as important as they have ever been!
We must never forget that all of this must fall in line with our strategy, but it must all be delivered in a way that is authoritative and with quality at its heart.
As a point of caution then never forget to manage your redundant pages. These jobs you list and that then get snapped up if not managed correctly can bloat your listing so Google does not analyse your site correctly!
So, the information we have detailed here shows that SEO as a service is vital for any recruitment business. Do not think that your PR agency or your web designers will deliver this as often they have no true idea how to achieve a growing and strong search visibility and it is this that will push your business ahead of the rest.